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That Is Appalling!

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Posted by Alan on September 20, 2002 11:51:43 UTC

Oh my!

Quote: "So it's not whether "alcoholism is a disease" is true or not, the point is, does seeing alcoholism as a disease help people get rid of the habit? That's the only meaningful question, the rest is just pointless word games.'

Based on this logic: "It is not whether Negro slaves are not human" is true or not, the point is, does seeing Negro slaves as non-human help white people benefit from their labour?"

Aurino: that is terrible to abandon honesty and truth and just use lies because they suit somebody's agenda; however laudable that agenda might seem to be.

Scientifically, medically; "alcoholism" is not a disease. True that some people may have a physical body-reaction to alcohol that influences their decision to drink or not. But that does not make them into machines.

If I walk in the mountains and am without water for a long time; I may see a small stream and rush towards it and drink copiously. Now my predisposition to drinking is influenced by a physical fact about my body: lack of water. But I am not a robot when I rush to that stream and drink copiously. I am still responsible for my actions and for making a choice.

This is particulary obvious in the case of food. If I have gone a long while without food, I may be very keen to eat when I reach food. This keenness to eat is indeed influenced by physical facts about my bodily state. But my decision to eat remains my free choice. Evidence of this fact is that I may choose like Ghandhi, to hunger-strike for political purposes. If I were a machine I could not do that.

A so-called alcoholic may indeed feel relief at discovering they have a bodily weakness for alcohol. After all, imagine our thirsty person's relief; if they had amnesia and had forgotten it was ages since they had had water; imagine their relief on learning that their desperate desire for water was readily explained. But in this case they would still recognise that the final decision to drink is their choice.

Of course, someone who craves alcohol may be relieved to find that they have a bodily weakness for alcohol (if scientific evidence showed this).
Such bodily predispositions may well exist, but as far as I know (check the words used in any patho-physiology text) they are not diseases. So they are simply human differences.

The label "alcoholism" goes too far, throws out too much responsibility; and treats speculative theory as if it were scientific fact.

Believers in AA make a mistake if they start abandoning ALL personal responsibility as if they don't even still make the final choice.

With most alleged psychological problems; you do not have the above scenario. You just have a straight situation of an alleged lack of freedom. Someone claims they are not free to be such-and-such. The answer to this is to increase self-awareness and understanding, to increase freedom.

Regretably, many people have been broken into fear of themselves. They speak a language of excuses that is really a code of fear of facing the real disputes in society.

Resorting to Orwellian 'doublespeak' for the sake of some "pragmatic" agenda is the road to societies governed by the likes of Stalin, Hitler, Gobbells, Saddam, etc..... no way!

I'm sure you can see that honesty pays the greatest dividend in the end.

History is full of disasters that involve words being used for strategic convenience in opposition to their real meaning.



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